The world of business is – in the modern day – constantly evolving. Sure, for some time it seemed as though everything was pretty stale: the boss was at the top of the corporate ladder, and people did their best to clamber up it. But we all spent our time in the same way, looking at those dreadfully boring 90s office walls and waiting until we could clock out and finally escape the 9 ‘til 5 hum of the old photocopier. Was there ever going to be a time when business stopped being about the guy at the top, and started developing in a healthier, happier way for regular employees?
Luckily, this is the case now, and people are beginning to push the boundaries when it comes to what is possible in business. What’s changing, and are you keeping up with the times?
As time goes on, attitudes towards management are changing dramatically. For so long, we’ve been used to a rigid hierarchy within business, and this has always maintained a similar structure. In many millennial-fronted businesses, however, there is a complete overhaul of old-fashioned power relations, and people are experiencing a newfound equal footing.
This is the case within many startups, and even larger businesses. The argument is that micromanagement, and management in general, stifles creativity and productivity, and that the bossless office avoids some of the issues of dehumanization that come with having strict management hierarchies. If you want to keep up with modern business, going bossless may just be the way to go!
Another way in which business is changing is the opportunities for outsourcing. In years gone by, a lot of the necessary work was done in-house, meaning that a business would have to pay to have a full-time member of staff working in any given area. However, this is no longer the case, and outsourcing has become a staple part of many modern businesses and startups.
Whether a business sources staff from a labour hire agency (and as such doesn’t require full-time employees), or looks to external companies for IT management, virtual receptions, or HR management, there are plenty of ways to take a lot of the regular office work out of the office. You can maintain different parts of your business from all over the world with outsourcing!
In the modern day, there is more of an emphasis on equality in business than there has ever been before. Whilst there has, historically, been high levels of workplace sexism and sexual assault, and the number of female managers and CEOs has been limited, this is a glass ceiling that people in business are increasingly making an effort to shatter. The office is – in most cases – no longer dominated by white men, and sexism will not be ignored.
This is also the case with many other forms of inequality, and minority ethnic groups and those of LGBTQI orientation are also fighting for fairer representation within the world of business. Any modern business that wishes to succeed must make a commitment to equality, and to building up a team within the office that represents people from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of viewpoints.
Working from home
For many employees, there is no longer the obligation to spend each and every hour in the office. Whereas businesses of the past have heavily relied upon the physical presence of their workers in the office, the advancement of technology and software means that it is increasingly easy for staff members to work from home instead of making their way into work each weekday.
This is beneficial for many reasons, but primarily, it puts the worker in control of their own productivity, and to an extent, it allows people to manage themselves whilst still producing the necessary work. There is an increased sense of trust between management and their employees, and it also cuts down commuting times, costs, and the notions of hierarchy and micromanagement.
When technology wasn’t the dominating force behind businesses, a company had a certain amount of time and flexibility when it came to rolling out a new product. This meant that there was no real rush to complete it, as the world was not subject to such quick changes as it is now; if you create an app in the modern day, it’s almost a race to get it on the App Store before somebody else bags your idea.
There is the constant threat to modern businesses that products will become obsolete, and that years of hard work will have gone into something, only to render it useless. For those who want to succeed in business now, there is an increasing pressure to stick to tight deadlines, and to ensure that ideas are acted on – and products produced – with immediacy. It’s vital to keep one eye on the clock!
In the past, businesses had to work pretty hard to work out who their target audience was. In fact, it was necessary to get out there onto the street, and to talk to people about their needs, and the kinds of products that they would be interested in buying. There were a few ways to collect data about customers, but there was no way to make a full image of their ever-changing needs.
This is, however, no longer the case. As mentioned in The Economist, ‘the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’. It is easier than ever for a business to work out who their customers are, and to target ads at them based upon this. For any modern company, it is important to utilize data about consumers, in order to improve the business (and general connectivity between them and their customers).
Business is always changing, and the old methods of trading are – over time – becoming obsolete. It is no longer commonplace for a business to have a rigid management hierarchy, or for equality to be neglected. Outsourcing and working from home are more popular than ever, and the ways in which we are connected – and the speed at which these things are done – are also changing rapidly. Business is evolving and moving forward. Is yours?